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Dr. Cutler read law, and was adıritted to the bar in 1767, but abandoned it for the ministry. He completed a regular course of study in medicine, and practiced it with signal success, gratuitously administering to the relief of the indigent.
It has been truly said of him, that “patriotism glowed in his heart; that, whether at home or abroad, his mind was intent on projecting great and good plans, consulting the benefit of generations to come. His knowledge of botany, astronomical calculations, meteorological observations, and agricultural improvements, evince the extensive sphere in which his active mind was employed, and how industriously his time was occupied. The asthma, with which he was afflicted, suhjected him to peculiar inconveniences, and was attended by paroxysms of extreme distress, which he endured with patience, preserving his usual cheerfulness, and rarely, until near the end of his life, omitting sanctuary or parochial services."
In his diary, September 11, 1821, he writes: “ This day it is 50 years since I was ordained in this place. My state of health renders it impracticable to take any public notice of the day. How wonderful that my life should be prolonged to this day! IIow much I have to be thankful for! And much to be humble for!”
The Rev. Dr. Wadsworth, of Danvers, who preached his funeral'sermon, and was an intimate friend, says: “In a familiar interview with Dr. Cutler, a short time previous to his decease, apprehending himself upon the confines of eternity, he observed that he had long been expecting to put off this earthly tabernacle, and could cheerfully welcome the summons. Death was no terror to his mind. Many wearisome days and nights had been appointed him; but he had enjoyed those precious consolations which he had often endeavored to administer to others in trouble. Infinite wisdom, he said, orders all aright, and will overrule all for the best. I have no will of my own, but acquiesce entirely in the divine disposals. Upon a retrospective view of life, he expressed an humble sense of
ment, and intercession of Christ, as the foundation of his hope as a Christian.''
Obituary notice of Dr. Cutler, published in the Salem Observer
(being a communication to that paper) and in the Essex Register, immediately after his death.
Died at Hamilton, on the 28th of July (1823), Rev. Manasseh Cutler, LL.D., in the eighty-second year of his age, and fifty-second of his ministry in that place. The God of nature had endowed him with a sound mind of a superior order, and in the pursuit of knowledge he labored with uncommon success. In several of the sciences, his researches and communications attracted the attention of the literary world, and procured him many honorable marks of distinction. In 1781, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1784, of the Philadelphia Philosophical Society. In 1789, the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by Yale College, where he was educated. In 1792, he was constituted a member of the Historical and Agricultural Society of this Commonwealth ; in 1809, of the Philadelphia Linnæan Society; in 1813, of the American Antiquarian Society; and in 1815, of the New England Linnæan Society. He was also an honorary member of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He was an ardent, distinguished friend to his country, and possessed an enlightened, discriminating understanding of her best interests. In 1800, and again in 1802, he was chosen by his fellow-citizens as a representative in the Congress of the United States; a station which he filled with dignity, and with satisfaction and advantage to his constituents. But there were studies and services still more important, to which most of his long life was devoted. Of his scientific and political pursuits, though in themselves highly interesting and beneficial to the community, congenial to his taste, and introductory to intercourse and correspondence with men of celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic, he observed during his last sickness that he reviewed them with but little comparative satisfaction, as interfering in some measure wu une muru wpurivuo viano vi vuwu uvry omve, vv WOLL all other claims should be subordinated by those who are invested with it. He regarded the employment of an ambassador of Christ as the most important and honorable on earth. The people of his charge know with what ability and faithfulness he discharged its sacred duties. They can tell the concern he uniformly manifested for their spiritual as well as temporal welfare, with what solemnity and earnestness he reproved, rebuked and exhorted, with all long-suffering and patience, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that he might present every man perfect in Christ, and how ready he was to spend and be spent in the service of God and of souls.
Respecting his views of divine truth, we have his living and dying testimony of his belief of what are distinctly denominated the doctrines of grace, embracing the essential divinity of the Savior, the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and justification exclusively by faith. His confidence in these and kindred doctrines of the Gospel was strengthened to the last; they were, in his apprehension, the fundamental principles of the Christian system; he inculcated them to others, and on them he rested his own hope of salvation; indeed, what, in the prospect of dissolution, he was particularly de. sirous to have noticed concerning him, was the deep sense he entertained of the importance of Gospel sentiment, as distinguished from that self-styled rational and liberal faith, which, he said, in his sober judgment, after a careful attention to the most able discussions of the subject, reduces the glorious economy of salvation by grace to a level with the religion of nature. Yet few exemplified a greater degree of candor toward such as.differed from him on topics of minor consequence, or paid less regard to the shibboleths of any party. He esteemed it a privilege to live in this age of benevolent enterprise, and was not an unconcerned spectator of the noble exertions of the Christian world to extend the blessings of our holy religion to the ends of the earth. We well remember his zeal in the formation of the Bible Society of Salem and Vicinity, the fervor with which he spoke and acted on that oc
While he delighted to associate with great and good men, and to promote great and good designs, he was remarkably condescending to men of low degree, was particularly attentive to the minute details of business, and by unwearied assiduity and perseverance seldom failed to accomplish what he undertook. Among his ministerial brethren he was esteemed and honored for the commanding dignity of his deportment, the maturity and correctness of his judgment, his refined a flability, and affectionate kindness. His extensive acquaintance with men and things, combined with an amiable social disposition, rendered him exceedingly interesting and valuable as a frieni, companion, and acquaintance. As a parent at the head of his family, and in all the relations and intercourse of life, he exhibited the temper, and was habitually governed by the maxims of the Gospel, approving himself an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Having, äs is supposed, long lived the life, he apparently died the death of the righteous, to whom remains a most glorious rest. After a scene of protracted extreme bodily suffering, which he endured with Christian heroism and patience, he calmly resigned his spirit into the hands of the Redeemer, and now we trust is inheriting the promises. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”
LETTER From GENERAL RUFUS PUTNAM TO MR. FISHER AMES, * 1790.
Sir:-In conversation with you at New York in July last (if I recollect right), you made this a question : “ Can we retain the western country within the government of the United States? And if we can, of what use will it be to them?”
I confess, this subject is far beyond my abilities to do justice to, yet I feel myself so interested in the question that I can not forbear making a few observations thereon. For that those countries may always be retained within the government of the United States, and that it will be our interest they should, is at present my decided opinion.
That they may be retained appears to me evident from the following consideration, viz., that it will always be their interest that they should remain connected. Now, Sir, if I can prove this, I conceive that the proposition that they may be retained, etc., will be fully established; for it is unreasonable
* This is the letter referred to in General Putnam's letter to Dr. Cutler, volume 1, page 450.
Fisher Ames, one of the most eloquent of American writers and statesman, was born at Dedham, Mass., in 1758. He was educated at Harvard College, where he received his degree in 1774. About seven years afterward he began the practice of the law; and an opportunity soon occurred for the display of his superior qualifications, both as a speaker and essay writer, le distinguished himself as a member of the Massachusetts Convention for ratifying the Constitution in 1788, and from this body passed to the House of Representatives in the State legislaturf. Soon after he was elected the first representative of the Suffolk district in the Congress of the United States, where he remained with the highest honor during the eight years of Washington's administration. On the retirement of the first President, VIr. Å mes returned to the practice of his profession in his native town. During the remaining years of his life his health was very much impaired, but his mind still continued deeply interested in politics, and he published a number of essays on the most stirring topics of the day. He died in 1808.—Bioy. of Eminent Men, R. A. Davinport.